Just one person tested positive for COVID-19 between Friday and Saturday from 1006 swab tests, bringing Malta’s total number of confirmed cases to 490. 

The positive patient is a 34-year-old Spanish man who lives in Malta and was working from home. He began exhibiting symptoms on May 7. He was only in contact with one person who lives with him and how has now been tested. 

Eight more patients recovered overnight, meaning just 58 COVID-19 cases are now considered to be active cases.

Superintendent for Public Health Charmaine Gauci said Malta was now in a "transition" phase, with the number of cases having stabilised. 

She once again appealed to people to follow social distancing rules. 

Masks must be worn properly, wearing the mask without covering your nose brings risks to both you and others,” she said. 

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Mothers' Day appeal

Gauci acknowledged that this year, Mothers’ Day would be a different one to other years.

“The best gift we can give our mothers is to protect them,” Gauci said, urging people to keep their distance from any elderly relatives. 

She expressed sympathy for people visiting cemeteries to pay their respects ahead of Mothers' Day, but reminded people to respect social distance rules while there. 

Crowds on beaches

Gauci said health authorities are currently talking to the Malta Tourism Authority to see what mitigation measures could be put in place at beaches to reduce the risk of crowds and virus transmission. 

Patient recovery 

Asked about recovery periods, Gauci said that “very few” of Malta’s patients had continued to test positive beyond an initial 14-day infection period. 

Children and the elderly, on average, taken longer to recover than others, she said. 

Reopening flights

Gauci dismissed talk of reopening Malta to tourism or of setting a timeframe on when that could happen. 

“It is took risky to open flights at this stage,” she said. 

Testing

Gauci said authorities wanted to bolster Malta’s COVID-19 testing regime. Authorities are administering around 1,000 tests a day, with the number dipping slightly on weekends when more people tend to skip testing appointments. 

Perspex use

Perspex is already being used as a protection mechanism at workplaces and aboard buses, Gauci said when asked whether it could be used to allow people to visit vulnerable relatives.

"As further measures are relaxed, perspex can be used as a mitigation measure to prevent spread," she said. 

The briefing is ongoing. Watch it in the video above.

 

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